Friday, January 26, 2007

The racism of the anti-racists

Pascal Bruckner fights in Ayaan Hirsi Ali's corner against Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash. I can't say I am with him in his lauding of the French Model, but what he says about multiculturalism is bang on.

On moral equivalence

In politics as in philosophy, the equals sign is always an abdication. If thinking involves weighing one's words to name the world well, drawing comparisons in other words, then levelling distinctions testifies to intellectual bankruptcy.
On moral equivalence applied to Hirsi Ali and the Islamists
The difference between her and Muhammad Bouyeri, the killer of Theo Van Gogh, is that she never advocated murder to further her ideas.
On why Hirsi Ali gets under people's skin
As a Somali, she proclaims the superiority of Europe over Africa. As a woman, she is neither wife nor mother. As a Muslim, she openly denounces the backwardness of the Koran. So many flouted cliches make her a true rebel, unlike the sham insurgents our societies produce by the dozen.
On multiculturalism
Anglo-Saxon multiculturalism is perhaps nothing other than a legal apartheid, accompanied - as is so often the case - by the saccarine cajolery of the rich who explain to the poor that money doesn't guarantee happiness. We bear the burdens of liberty, of self-invention, of sexual equality; you have the joys of archaism, of abuse as ancestral custom, of sacred prescriptions, forced marriage, the headscarf and polygamy.

Multiculturalism is a racism of the anti-racists: it chains people to their roots.

Anyone would think we are reliving the days of segregation in the southern United States. Yet this segregation has the full backing of Europe's most prominent progressives!
[my emphasis throughout]

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